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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Wallensky said Thursday that while she was cautiously optimistic about the decline in new cases of monkeypox, infections were still rising in some parts of the country. rice field.
She also said at a White House briefing that officials were taking steps to address racial and ethnic disparities in monkeypox vaccine distribution.
As of Sept. 14, there are nearly 23,000 confirmed monkeypox cases nationwide, Wallenski told reporters.
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“We are pleased to see the number of new cases declining both at home and abroad in recent weeks. There are areas of the United States where the rate of new cases is still increasing,” she said. “We approach this news with caution and optimism.”
The racial and ethnic makeup of the outbreak has evolved over the past few weeks, Wallenski said.
CDC is opening applications for its Vaccine Equity Pilot Program. The program has allocated 50,000 doses of the Bavarian Nordic Jynneos vaccine to address distribution disparities.
“Although monkeypox cases were initially found predominantly in non-Hispanic white men, last week non-Hispanic black men accounted for 38% of the cases, among those with race and ethnicity data. Latino or Hispanic males accounted for 25%.Cases and non-Hispanic white males accounted for 26%,” Wallenski said.
Conversely, of the 91% of initial vaccine doses for which the CDC has data on race and ethnicity, whites received about 47% of those shots, Hispanics about 20%, and blacks. accounted for about 12 percent, the CDC director noted. .
“The rates of vaccine given to Latino or Hispanic men and non-Hispanic black men are disproportionately lower than those seen in cases,” she admitted.
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More than 540,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine have been administered so far, Wallenski said. CDC data show that 80% of those were his first dose, but the number of his second doses given has increased in the past few weeks, Wallenski said. increase.
Two doses of Gynneos, four weeks apart, are required for full effect. At a briefing on Aug. 26, Wallenski said his 97% of injections given were first doses.